Help create the future RapidRide H Line – give feedback on Delridge improvements by Mar. 31

Have-a-Say-Spanish-500pwideIn 2020, Route 120 will become the RapidRide H Line. King County Metro is collaborating with the City of Seattle to improve riding transit, walking, and biking in the Delridge area. This month, we are sharing the latest on these improvements and seeking input on how best to balance the needs of everyone who uses the corridor, whether they’re in a bus, a car, walking, or riding a bike.

King County Metro will be bringing RapidRide amenities and improving service between the Seattle City limits and Burien.

Converting Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line will keep people moving by:

  • Keeping buses frequent and on-time
  • Adding more buses at night and on weekends
  • Upgrading RapidRide bus stops with lighting, real-time arrival info, and more
  • Improving sidewalks and paths for people walking and people riding bikes

What types of improvements is Seattle considering?

  • Option 1 would add bus-only lanes, both all day and at peak times along sections of Delridge Way SW. A widened sidewalk would accommodate people who bike and walk from 23rd Ave SW to SW Holden St. People who bike would be encouraged to use the existing neighborhood greenways, which run parallel to Delridge Way SW.
  • Option 2 would add bus-only lanes between the West Seattle Bridge and SW Alaska St. It would also add about 3 miles of southbound protected bike lane from SW Andover St to SW Kenyon St.

Learn more and comment by March 31

Metro launches RapidRide F Line

Riders traveling between Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila and Renton will have more frequent all-day bus service starting Saturday, June 7, as King County Metro Transit launches the RapidRide F Line.

 Photo credit Ned Ahrens, King County: (Left to Right) Renton City Councilmember Marcie Palmer, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, King County Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi, Metro Transit Service Development Manager Victor Obeso, King County Executive Dow Constantine, RapidRide Man, Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton, Federal Transit Administration Deputy Regional Administrator Ken Feldman and Renton Mayor Denis Law.


Photo credit Ned Ahrens, King County: (Left to Right) Renton City Councilmember Marcie Palmer, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, King County Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi, Metro Transit Service Development Manager Victor Obeso, King County Executive Dow Constantine, RapidRide Man, Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton, Federal Transit Administration Deputy Regional Administrator Ken Feldman and Renton Mayor Denis Law.

This will be the sixth line in the RapidRide program – which is supported by state and federal funding – and will replace routes 110 and 140. The 12-mile-long route will better link communities and riders to Westfield Southcenter Mall, Boeing, The Landing and downtown Renton, and major transit hubs including Sound Transit’s Link light rail and Sounder rail stations.

Details about RapidRide F Line

RapidRide F Line replaces routes 110 and 140 with frequent all-day weekday service 4:45 a.m. to midnight and weekend service 6 a.m. to midnight. Service is most frequent – every 10 minutes – during peak commutes. The corridor will see an overall 69 percent increase in service when the F Line is introduced compared to Route 140 service prior to extending to The Landing. Details also in our news release.

  • 12 mile corridor (See map, PDF.)
  • 56 stations and stops
  • 42 intersections with transit priority
  • 12 locations with next bus arrival signs
  • 17 buses dedicated to serving this corridor.

RapidRide across King County

RapidRide travels several of the busiest transit corridors in the county and Metro set the goal of seeing a 50 percent increase in ridership within five years of launching each line.

RapidRide average weekday ridership (April 2014)

  • A Line: 9,810 riders, +76 percent
  • B Line: 6,500, +28 percent
  • C Line: 7,890, +70 percent
  • D Line: 10,570, +39 percent
  • E Line: 13,180, +12 percent since February 2014
  • Route 140 (New F line): 3,500

Launching Rapid Ride E Line, February service change

Metro’s RapidRide E Line debuts Feb. 15

Fifth RapidRide line replaces the Route 358; will offer more reliability, faster trips

In just a few days, Rapid Ride E Line will replace Route 358 along an 11-mile stretch of Aurora Avenue North – marking the arrival of King County Metro Transit’s fifth RapidRide line. Service starts Saturday, Feb. 15 as part of Metro’s winter service change.

Teal timetables are in effect Feb. 15, 2014

Teal timetables are in effect Feb. 15, 2014

Route 358 is Metro’s second highest ridership route, delivering 12,000 rides each weekday. With the addition of the E Line, ridership is projected to grow by 50 percent to 5.4 million annual rides within the next five years.

Federal Transit Administration funding covers about 40 percent of the E Line’s capital cost, including buses and station improvements, will be covered.”

Over $25 million in FTA grants helped pay for new RapidRide coaches, passenger and pedestrian improvements, and Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes. The grant was key in helping to launch the new line considering Metro’s financial situation. Without additional tools, Metro plans to cut up to 17 percent of its service beginning this fall.

Launch of the E Line coincides with Metro’s three-times-a-year service change. New teal timetables will be available in coming days and route and schedule changes are posted online. Metro’s online Trip Planner is now updated for riders who want to plan a trip after the Feb. 15 service change. Changes are planned to northbound routes 17X, 18X, 37, 28, and routes 50, 60, 64 and 65.

Information about a temporary two-month bus stop construction closure at Third Avenue and Pine Street in Seattle also will be posted online in coming days.

What E Line riders should know

The distinguishing features of RapidRide are frequent all-day service, passenger amenities such as well-lit shelters, real-time “next bus” signs, off-board ORCA card payment, hybrid-electric buses with three doors and free Wi-Fi.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

  • Buses will come often, operating every 5 to 15 minutes throughout the day.
    The Route 358 already runs frequently, but one or two trips per hour will be added throughout the day, including late night and early morning. These additions will allow the E Line to operate as a 24-hour service.
  • The Aurora Avenue corridor will see an overall 25 percent increase in service when the E Line is introduced.

Look for shorter bus trips along Aurora Avenue.

  • More than 18 miles of designated north and southbound BAT lanes have already improved travel time by getting buses through congested areas.
  •  The initial E Line schedule will shave another one to nine minutes off each trip, depending on time of day and how far a rider is traveling.
  • Off-board ORCA card readers, the use of bus rear doors and traffic signal priority will all work together to speed boarding and get buses through intersections faster – improvements that will achieve even more travel time savings in the coming months.

Fare enforcement, on-board cameras and improved lighting will offer a sense of added security.

  • As with other RapidRide lines, fare enforcement officers will check to confirm fare payment and provide customer service, as needed.
  • All RapidRide coaches will come equipped with cameras for added security, increasing the overall number of camera coaches in Metro’s fleet.
  • Riders will see improved lighting at all 50 new RapidRide shelters along Aurora Ave. And riders waiting at bus shelters will be more easily seen at night thanks to newly installed stop request lights.

Red and yellow RapidRide buses include features needed as demand for bus service grows along the corridor.

  • The 60-foot low-floor articulated buses will have three doors and fewer seats so riders can get on and off the bus more quickly.
  • Additional interior features will make it more comfortable to stand when the bus is crowded.
  • A strapless wheelchair restraint system will enable riders with wheelchairs to board quickly and easily.

The launch of the E Line moves Metro closer to completing its initial promise to bring faster, more reliable service to some of the county’s most congested travel corridors as part of its 2006 Transit Now initiative. The F Line, Metro’s sixth RapidRide line, begins service between Burien and Renton in June.

Overall customer satisfaction with RapidRide remains high with the four existing lines drawing an average 78 percent satisfaction rate. And ridership continues to climb. Combined ridership on existing RapidRide lines has grown 36 percent, outpacing projections. Metro delivers about 31,000 RapidRide trips each weekday.

RapidRide D line work coming up in Seattle

Construction is underway of roadway improvements at the north end of the RapidRide D Line that will enable the D Line to better access its existing terminal on NW 100th Place by way of Holman Road.

Since launching in September 2012, the D Line has traveled a temporary path at the north end of the route via NW 85th Street and Eighth Avenue NW. Construction on the new path will last several months, and riders will see buses shift to a new path in February 2014.DLineTerminalProjectMapConstruction2013_14b

Ridership continues to grow, and the D Line carries more than 8,800 riders each weekday – up 16 percent from the 7,600 riders on the previous service.

Crews started this week with work on Seventh Avenue NW. During construction, riders might see bus stops on 8th Avenue NW, NW 100th Street and NW 100th Place temporarily relocated slightly. Notices for bus stop changes will be posted at the stops.
Key dates on the horizon for construction include:

  • Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6: Eighth Avenue NW will temporarily close to general purpose traffic at the NW 100th ST intersection between 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Buses will be guided through the construction zone.
  • Monday, Oct. 14, through February 2014: Work planned on Seventh Avenue NW will close a lane on Holman Road NW on weekdays for a few weeks. As construction progresses in the area, crews will close various road segments and bus stops, but alternative routes and bus stops will be provided.

Through the course of the project, crews will be building:
1.    A new left turn pocket on Holman Road NW at Seventh Avenue NW for northeast bound traffic.
2.    Improvements on Seventh Avenue NW, which will be converted to one-way northbound travel, completely rebuilding the street as a concrete roadway. New curb and sidewalk will be constructed on the west side between Holman Road NW and NW 100th Street. Parking on the west side of Seventh Avenue NW will be prohibited; the east side of Seventh Avenue NW will have access for truck deliveries to adjacent businesses and parking at the back side of the Carkeek Plaza Shopping Center.
3.    NW 100th Street between Seventh Avenue NW and NW 100th Place will be realigned and rebuilt with a concrete roadway, providing two-way access to the Carkeek Plaza Shopping Center. New curb and sidewalk on the south side of NW 100th Street will be added.
4.    To better connect riders to the D line stop on NW 100th Place, pedestrian crossing improvements and roadway repairs will be made at the intersections of NW 100th Street, NW 100th Place, NW 100th Street and Eighth Avenue NW. The existing northbound slip lane that connects Eighth Avenue NW and NW 100th Place will be removed and all traffic will use the 4-way stop at the Eighth Avenue NW and NW 100th Street intersection. New sidewalk will be built on the south side of NW 100th Street.
5.    Curb improvements will be made at the intersection of NW 100th Street and NW 100th Place to enable the westbound to northbound right-turn movement of Metro buses; the reconfiguration of this intersection will greatly reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians.

Construction begins tomorrow on RapidRide F Line bus stops

Construction begins Sept. 4 on two RapidRide stops at The Landing in Renton. These stops will serve Route 140 riders starting Sept. 28, when Route 140 will be extended to follow the path of the future F Line north of the Renton Transit Center.

We will then install three more RapidRide stops north of the transit center, and Route 140 will begin serving each of them as construction is finished.

The F Line will begin service between Burien and Renton on June 7, 2014, replacing Route 140.

RapidRide stops and stations

RapidRide stations are placed where most riders gather. Their features include:

  • Electronic signs that tell how many minutes it will be until the next bus will arrive.
  • Large maps of the routes showing all stops and destinations.
  • ORCA readers that let riders with ORCA cards pay before they board and get on at any door.

RapidRide stops are well lit so people can see around themselves and be seen. They also have stop request signals that let riders trigger a light at night to let the bus drivers know they are waiting.

Learn more on Metro’s website»

Work along the F Line corridor includes upgrades to traffic signal infrastructure to support transit signal priority at certain intersections; installation of new passenger amenities at each RapidRide stop; and making some roadway changes to improve bus operations.

In March, we began construction on the F Line Intelligent Transportation System project, which will include installation of equipment cabinets, wireless access antennas, and fiber optic cables for real-time bus information signs, off-board ORCA readers, and transit signal priority. This work will continue through September, moving from Burien east through SeaTac, Tukwila, and Renton. When we finish this phase of the project, we can begin testing and fine-tuning transit signal priority equipment.

Existing bus stops will be closed as needed during construction of RapidRide stops and stations. When we close a stop,we’ll provide an alternative stop nearby and buses will continue normal operations. Only a few bus stops will be under construction at any given time, and we’ll do everything in our power to minimize disruptions.

Look for rider alerts at affected bus stops with details about where to catch your bus during construction. As work progresses along the corridors, we’ll also post construction updates here, along with this progress graphic:

 

Construction begins along future RapidRide E and F line routes

We are making improvements along the routes of the next two RapidRide lines. The E Line will travel on Aurora Avenue N between Shoreline and downtown Seattle, and is scheduled to begin service on February 15, 2014. The F Line between Burien and Renton will begin service on June 7, 2014.

Work along the corridors will upgrade traffic signal infrastructure to allow for transit signal priority at certain intersections, install new passenger amenities at each RapidRide stop, and make some roadway changes to improve bus operations.thumbnail

In March, Metro began construction on the F Line Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project, which will include installation of equipment cabinets, wireless access antennae, and fiber optic cables for real-time bus information signs, off-board ORCA readers, and transit signal priority. This work will continue through September, moving from Burien east through SeaTac, Tukwila, and Renton. When we finish this phase of the project, we can begin testing and fine-tuning transit signal priority equipment.

Similar work is also underway along the E Line route. Most of this construction is done near existing traffic lights, and it usually does not affect access to bus stops.

Construction of passenger facility upgrades began in Shoreline in May, and will proceed into other areas on both corridors as permits are approved. Metro will build foundations and electrical connections for the new RapidRide shelters and other passenger amenities, and will add or improve sidewalks in some areas to improve access to the stops.

Existing bus stops will be closed as needed while this work is being done. Metro will provide alternative stops nearby, and buses will continue normal operations during construction. Only a few bus stops will be under construction at any one time, and we will do everything in our power to minimize disruptions.

Look for rider alerts at affected bus stops with details about where to catch your bus during construction. As work progresses along the corridors, we’ll also post construction updates here.

Metro revises schedule for RapidRide E and F lines

130255Metro has revised the scheduled launch dates for the RapidRide E and F lines, allowing time to complete needed construction on facility upgrades and features that will make future service more reliable.

Both RapidRide E and F lines previously were scheduled to launch September 2013. Under the new schedule, RapidRide E will begin service in February 2014. RapidRide F now is slated to launch in June 2014.

Before launching service, construction is needed on over 100 bus stops and stations and upgraded transit signals at more than 60 intersections – which stretch across two corridors, 21 miles and six cities.

Metro reviewed and revised the construction timelines with cities to reflect the complexity of the work needed to launch service on these two lines.

Rider amenities needed before launching the service include next bus arrival signs and ORCA card readers at stations, as well as coordinated traffic signals for buses. Read the full news release.

Improving traffic flow along the C Line

After construction of bus bulbs along the C Line route began in March 2012, motorists noticed increased traffic congestion in the area—particularly at the intersection of Fauntleroy Way SW and California Avenue SW in the Morgan Junction.

This congestion increases as ferry traffic leaves the Fauntleroy dock. The construction work itself, which continued through June, contributed to this delay. In July and August, Seattle Public Utilities was doing a separate construction project at this same intersection, further disrupting traffic flow.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation and Metro have been monitoring traffic conditions at this intersection, and have responded to the concerns we’ve heard in several ways.

To reduce backups caused when two or more buses are at the westbound bus stop on Fauntleroy Way SW, we’re establishing a second bus stop a few feet to the west of the intersection to serve routes 116, 118, and 119, which provide express service to the Fauntleroy ferry dock.

Metro bus drivers have received special instructions and additional training to help keep multiple buses from using the bus stop at the same time. Lane markings at the intersection have been refreshed to increase visibility and clarity for motorists.

We’re asking for continued patience as we complete our preparations to launch the C Line. Several elements of this new RapidRide service will help with traffic flow. These include all-door boarding at stops and off-board fare payment at stations, which will shorten the time buses spend at each stop. Also, the C Line will have transit signal priority at certain traffic lights along the corridor, which will keep buses moving through the intersections. (This technology is currently being tested and activated along the C Line route.)

We also remind drivers to obey traffic laws by not crossing the center line to pass a bus. Remember that buses now stop in the travel lane at these bus bulbs—so don’t enter the intersection behind a bus until there’s enough room.

In particular, drivers heading south on California Avenue SW and turning right toward the Fauntleroy ferry dock should keep in mind that a bus may be at the stop on Fauntleroy Way SW when they make the westbound turn.

Metro and the City of Seattle will continue to monitor traffic flow at this intersection and all along the new RapidRide routes. The city is prepared to make more traffic control or operational changes if needed after all of the RapidRide service features are up and running.

Planting Bulbs for RapidRide

Bus bulbs are going in at several RapidRide stops along the new C and D lines.

A bus bulb extends the sidewalk at a bus stop out into the parking lane of the street. The bus simply stops in the travel lane instead of pulling out of traffic and back in again after serving the stop. This makes bus service faster.

Yes, vehicles behind the bus have to wait while the bus pauses to pick up and/or drop off passengers. But traffic studies by the City of Seattle show minimal delays to traffic flow from bus bulbs. In Ballard along the D Line, morning peak-period congestion is expected to remain mostly unchanged at all 10 intersections between NW 85th Street and Leary Avenue NW since the morning peak-hour travel lane was converted to bus bulbs and parking.

Photo: bus and cars at bus stop in front of Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal.

Cars wait behind a bus serving a new bus bulb at the northbound stop in front of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal.

Travel time is expected to be a bit longer for general-purpose vehicles, with a southbound increase of about 50 seconds during the morning peak between NW 85th Street and NW Market Street.

But travel times for buses are expected to improve by 1.5 to 2 minutes, depending on the time of day, along the same section of road. This benefit comes partly from the bus bulbs, and also partly from other transit priority improvements that have been made as part of the RapidRide program, including transit signal priority at each intersection with a traffic signal.

Bus bulbs have additional benefits, including increased parking and wider lanes for general-purpose travel. D Line bus bulbs on 15th Avenue NW between NW 80th Street and NW 67th Street will bring back 24-hour on-street parking, for an estimated net increase of 105 parking spaces in morning peak hours.

The outside travel lane will also be widened slightly, providing more room for the larger freight vehicles that use the corridor. In Ballard, D Line bus bulbs will create a southbound two-lane roadway at all hours, like the street profile on 15th Avenue NW between NW 65th Street and NW Market Street.

And stops with bus bulbs have more space for passenger amenities — like shelters, benches, and real-time bus arrival signs — and their added waiting space helps keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians.

NOTE: This post was updated on 9/13 to reflect that the City of Seattle’s traffic studies were completed before bus bulbs were installed, so they measured expected rather than actual effects on traffic flow.

D Line stops are under construction

Metro began construction for bus stop improvements on the RapidRide D Line route in March. We’ve completed work and installed new RapidRide shelters at several stops, in Belltown and elsewhere along the route. We’ll start work on the largest stations in July. This work will include installing new bus bulbs in the Uptown area and along 15th Avenue NW in Ballard.

The photos below were taken this morning as a crew worked on new concrete at 15th Avenue NW and W Dravus Street in Interbay.

photo: several men working on new concrete

Workers smooth the surface of new concrete for a RapidRide D Line stop in Interbay. (view larger)

photo: workers with bus in background

A Route 15 bus approaches as workers finish concrete for a new RapidRide D Line stop at 15th Avenue NW and W Dravus Street. (view larger)